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Erhard liquor store stays open despite losses

Published 11:12am Friday, May 27, 2011

Despite recent losses, the Erhard Municipal Liquor Store will continue to stay open.

On a unanimous vote, the city council on May 17 approved operation of the Erhard city-owned liquor store for one more year, with the hope of seeing an increase in sales and a return of money for city government operations. Input is sought from city residents on how to make the store more profitable.

In 2003 Erhard’s municipal liquor store was able to put about $5,000 into the city coffer. However, by 2009 the city-owned liquor store had a loss of $2,134. That same year gross profits were $72,664, in addition to non-operating revenues of $899 for a total of $73,563. Expenses, however, were $75,697 according to the state auditor’s report, resulting in the loss.

While 2010 profitability figures have not yet been completed, the tough times continued into 2010, but the mayor, city council and area residents hope to turn things around. Last year the city renovated the facility and advice is coming from the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association.

“The old storage room now is part of the inventory and sales area,” said Pat Ouren has served as manager for the past 29 years.

Former Erhard Mayor Richard Bratlien said this morning that residents have an opportunity to brainstorm and come up with different suggestions to help the liquor store become more profitable.

“We can and should all work together,” said Bratlien. “We aren’t alone in this.”

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